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The Other Special Cause We Observe in October

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

If you’ve been on ADC’s Facebook page in the past few weeks you know how committed we are in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s an important cause and we’re proud to contribute to the American Cancer Society year-round through the sales of our awareness-themed product line.

But there’s a second outstanding cause celebrated in October – one that’s far less well known but just as important, particularly to me: National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. While ADC offers a cuff to benefit Autism, our participation in this broader cause is much more personal and longstanding.

Almost 30 ago, ADC hired our first developmentally disabled employee. We were a tiny firm, employing fewer than 10, and had published an ad seeking help in our production department. The only candidate to show up was a young man named Glen who rode his bicycle seven miles to our offices. He gave me a note written by his mom begging me to give him a chance. 

Today we employ around a dozen developmentally disabled individuals in positions ranging from quality control to production, from shipping to maintenance. We are proud to be one of New York’s largest private employers of the developmentally disabled. We work closely with AHRC Suffolk to ensure a rewarding work experience for the participants and a productive employee that truly makes a difference. 

AHRC Suffolk supports more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities and their families providing a range of services from education to housing. Each year around this time AHRC Suffolk, holds their most important fundraiser. We are proud to be one of their largest benefactors, raising well over $20,000 per year for the past decade.

You can help, too. If you’re an employer, reach out to the local agencies serving this population. Most have supported work programs that will screen qualified candidates and train them. If you’re a consumer, support firms that make this commitment to the hiring of the developmentally disabled (or any disability that moves you).

It’ll be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done!